Hitler's Airpower Theory

Superior Essays
Theories on airpower and how best to use it has evolved over the past century due to experiences from the battlefield and with increasing air technology and communications ability. WWI and WWII were instrumental in creating a background on which to build current airpower theory. Early theorists such as Douhet, Mitchell, and Trenchard focused primarily on strategic bombing as a way to subdue the enemy. Current theorists have modified this stance to include the thinking and the morale of the enemy as well as using effects-based operations. Airpower theory has incorporated lessons learned over the past century by moving from a service centric view of battle and use of primarily strategic bombardment into a more joint or unified stance with …show more content…
Air power during WWII evolved as did the German way of thinking of the use of the aircraft. Germany had great success with the “Blitzkrieg” in 1936 using the Luftwaffe to gain control of the skies and by providing close air support to the ground troops. At this time, Hitler did not use the aircraft for strategic bombardment. He used them in the Blitzkrieg style and also hit main lines of communication to stop supplies from reaching the enemy. This is a highly effective method still used today but we add in the use of precision bombing to create a desired …show more content…
The Air Tactical School (ACTS) created an industrial web theory that was influenced by WWII air campaigns. Energy and transportation targets were the focus of the industrial web theory stating that if these areas are destroyed, it would break the enemy’s ability to create products for war and would stop supply chains. However, this theory did not examine the secondary and tertiary effects of this type of bombardment and did not allow for a substitution, a work around, for a destroyed factory, materiel, or supply chain. The industrial web theory used in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq gave way to current theory with Col John Warden’s Five Rings Model. He thought that by affecting the inner-most ring, the leadership, would be the most effective way to stop an enemy by paralysis. He stated the need to gain air superiority first and that the enemy can adapt and change according to their environment as they did in Germany. The key is to use parallel warfare in which the environment so rapidly changes that adjustments cannot be

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